Start your engines. Quietly. France's Bollore Group is putting a green spin on Indianapolis's motor-racing tradition by making official its planned debut of its all-electric car-sharing service in the US. It will be called, naturally, BlueIndy.

Bollore, which is headed by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, said this week that the largest all-electric car-sharing service in the US will debut in Indianapolis as soon as early 2015. As many as 500 EVs and 1,000 charging stations at about 200 service stations will be deployed in Indianapolis, where mayor Greg Ballard continues to champion advanced-powertrain transportation options as a way to cut foreign oil dependency.

Bollore said last year that Indianapolis would be the first US city to host its electric car-sharing service and estimated this week that it will sink about $35 million into the project. Autolib started operating in Paris in the fall of 2011 in Paris, charging customers between $6 and $11 per half-hour in addition to a $200 annual membership fee. The going hasn't always been smooth.

In 2012, Bollore received a loan of about $100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to expand its car-sharing services and now operates divisions such as Lyon's Bluely and Bordeaux's Blueclub (we're detecting a theme) in addition to Autolib. Almost 3,000 Bluecars have been deployed throughout France. Check out Bollore's press release below.
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BlueIndy, the largest electric car sharing service in the United States, launched by Bollore Group

INDIANAPOLIS, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard and Bollore Group Chairman Vincent Bollore presented today to the press and the people of Indianapolis BlueIndy, the revolutionary 100 percent electric car sharing service.

The Mayor of Indianapolis chose to align this event with the opening of the famous Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference. EDTA usually holds its yearly conference in Washington, DC, but this year chose Indianapolis, renowned city in the automotive industry, primarily because of the BlueIndy launch.

The Bollore Group will invest approximately $35 million in Indianapolis for a momentous project which will result in the largest electric car sharing service in the United States. For the first time, Bollore Group will export outside of France its end-to-end electric car sharing solution. The service is based on the successful Autolib' in Paris, Bluely in Lyon and Bluecub in Bordeaux, which complement public transportation offerings and improve French citizens' mobility.

The BlueIndy service, which will open within eight months, will include up to 500 electric vehicles and 200 service locations fitted with 1,000 charging stations.

Mayor Ballard, who in 2012 announced his goal of promoting energy security by reducing the reliance on foreign oil, said, "This is an unprecedented announcement. Electric vehicles and car sharing are the future. Bollore, one of the world's largest companies, will replicate its successful service outside of France and bring to the City the benefits of an innovative, economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Indianapolis is breaking new grounds and hopes to lead the way for other U.S. cities."

Vincent Bollore stated, "The Bollore Group is proud to bring its unique technology know-how and operations excellence in electric vehicle sharing to Indianapolis, a city so strongly associated with automotive racing. We are glad to support Mayor Ballard's energy-transition vision. From now on, residents and visitors of Indianapolis will be able to drive around without owning a car and without emitting greenhouse gases or particulate matter."

The electric car sharing service is a forward-looking solution for cities around the world. The Bollore Group has already deployed nearly 3,000 Bluecars equipped with Blue Solutions batteries. Through its range of applications, Blue Solutions is the ideal partner to help cities and regions carry out "smart city" strategies.

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